This weeks ‘Short Thoughts’ has a host of 5minute reviews for you, including the final installment in Peter Jackson’s franchise ‘The Hobbit: Battle of the Five armies,’ The latest issue of Spider-verse (Amazing Spider-Man 13) and a host of television returns including the Flash and Arrow. So here let the rambling reviews begin
The Hobbit: Battle of the 5Armies
Peter Jackson has done a great job of everything related to ‘Middle Earth’ and this installment is no different- albeit im still not sold the Hobbit needed 3movies, but this aside the movie moves at a good pace and has some really great action scenes and some heart wrenching moments. Smaug opens the movie just where the last one left off with him destroying the riverside town out of spite for Thorin and his attempt to reclaim the mountain home of his people. It’s abundently clear from this moment on that the movie is going to have some great big fight scenes and very little story development, yet despite this their isn’t a single moment that feels dull or out-of-place. We do get some small story development around Bilbo and the arrival of Sauron, but this movie is about Thorin and his band of Dwarf’s and the amazing battle they have with the Orcs and we also get to see some amazing action between the nine kings of men (long thought deceased) and the ‘Lady of the Waters.’ This movie delivers a true visual feast that needs to be seen, while at the same time wrapping up the trilogy with an emotional end that leads right back to the start of the ‘Lord of the Rings’ trilogy. Will I watch them all in a marathon- you bet I would.
The Flash- S1 Ep10 Revenge of the Rogues
Flash is back from the mid-season break baby! And it delivered another totally fun and comic book lore loving episode that gave us the return of ‘Captain Cold’ and the first true appearance of ‘Heatwave’ and you could tell that Wentworth Millar loved every cheesy moment of his dialog and that just added to the whole amazing comic book feel of the episode. Flash had a great showdown with these two villains towards the end of the episode that was well shot as it looked like a big screen battle, only we got to witness this on the small screen and it looks like this may just be the start of the interactions between these three thanks to the surprise ending of the episode that should have helped to introduce another powered villain. We didn’t get any real development on the ‘Reverse Flash’ but we did get plenty of mentions to keep him at the forefront, however with the villains on display this week we didn’t really need the man in yellow, as the fastest man alive was kept plenty busy. This show always delivers and this week was no exception.
Amazing Spider-Man #13
This is the penultimate episode of Spider-Verse within Amazing Spider-Man and boy could you tell, as the level of action begins to build with the arrival of the ‘Bride’ (Silk) and the ‘Other’ (Kaine) onto loomworld to directly attack the Inheritors in an attempt to save all of the Spiders. We get to see Kaine go all out Spider, along with the inheritors weilding an army of Goblins (of the green variety too) and the episode features a real shock with the inheritors and one of their key members. We also get the back story of Uncle Ben, and its uncanny in its likeness to 616 Parkers which is a very nice touch. This issue is also great with its emotional ties to characters and the hints once again that 616 Parker is the true spider, and this really helps build the story and gets you feeling for each and every Spider-Man. This is a great set-up to the final battle and I couldn’t be more excited for the next and final issue of Spider-Verse.
WWE Raw 19/1/15
This weeks Raw blew the last couple of episodes out of the water, mainly due to the nostalgia of having the NWO back on the show and the comedy moments that ensued thanks to the pairing of them with Triple H, and that classic moment from Ric Flair who tried to attack the Big Show with no success which looked like comedy gold before Flair got knocked clean out. There was some good action too- but the real show stealing moment came in the final 20minutes as we got to see Rollins vs Cena for the return of Ziggler, Rowan and Ryback if Cena won. The opening of the show set this up by having Brock, Cena and Rollins all taunt each other (Yes Brock did his own talking) and had Brock display his displeasure at the curb stomp and at Cena setting up the main event showdown as Lesnar was allowing Rollins to try to make amends. obviously partially thanks to the first ever Raw appearance of Sting to provide a distraction Cena won, and then business really picked up as Lesnar appeared to a huge pop to try to destroy Rollins- only to find him running away after he managed to F5 both the big show and Kane with ease. This was a great ending to the show and a great build to the Royal Rumble, this is a real step in right direction heading into Wrestlemania and im excited to see this weekends PPV.
Arrow- S3 Ep10 Left Behind
This weeks Arrow was the return post Oliver’s total dismantling and untimely death at the hands of Ra’s Al Ghul, and then the lengthy christmas break- which meant I was extremely excited to see what we got without Oliver in the mix for this week. And the episode was great as it gave us some flash backs of Oliver in his Japan again working for ARGUS, to try to stop the creation of a biological weapon and these were very nicely done as they kept us engaged in Oliver’s story despite the main narrative acknowledging his absence. This is where the episode really made its mark, as it showed how the team are dealing with the absence of Oliver and the uncertainty of his death as no-one is clear on what truly happened to him. The team is filling the suit in an attempt to keep his mythos alive in the city while still trying to fight crime and continue his mission, all the while struggling with the thought he may be gone. This is confirmed by Merlin later in the episode and throws a real wrench in the teams plans as everyone seems to break on-screen, and its a true emotional moment for fans of the team and the show as Felicity in particular seems to almost give-in on everything when she hears the news. We also got a new villain, who manages to get everyone the team have captured released just as they hear the news and this works so well in continuing to break the team apart both emotionally and physically. However I do feel that the final 2minutes of the episode happened to fast (NO Spoilers) however it didn’t ruin the great episode of television we got this week.
Yes ill admit it at this point, im a week behind on ROH wrestling as the WWE network has taken over, but im back onto the ROH shows to get myself caught right back up in the next few days. This show featured the start of the top prosepct tournament which is always a good idea as seeing new on very rarely used talent is great for the company and the show- who doesn’t enjoy seeing new wrestler on screen, and the right man went over in Ferrara as he was clearly the more polished of the two. We also got to see a great main event between Ciampa, Elgin and Hanson for the number one contendership that featured some great action and some really good moments. The finish made sense as this is definitely a feud that can continue to build and get its conclusion on a PPV, so the stoppage due to referee injury made logical booking sense. This was a good show and im looking forward to seeing the debut of Alberto El Patron (Del Rio) on the next show, despite him already having signed for Lucha Underground now.
American Horror Story- S4 Ep13 Curtain Call
This was the series finale for one of the better seasons (at least at the start) of the show, however over the last few episodes it has really lost some of its momentum and this show was the worst by far and has left a really bitter taste on the overall season. Everything that happened in this episode seemed to be to fast, the entire carnival of ‘Freaks’ went from decent people to monsters in less than 5minutes, Dandy was the only saving grace of the first 30minutes of this episode and by the end the good character work done with him was wiped clean and meaningless too. Even Jimmy who at one point I thought would be the saviour of everyone lost his best characteristics and fell foul of the horrid and rushed ending, which basically negated everything that had been established and set out a very odd tone for the future of the remaining freaks. Contrary to this was the magnificent demise of Elsa, which we were given in time hoping glimpses, as this worked really well and showed that even though she had everything she wanted she was alone and still a freak in the world- and this was great! However as this episode continued they even wiped that away in favour of a happy-go-lucky style ending that didn’t fit the feel of the rest of the season. This was the worst ending to any of the seasons, yes even the horrid ghost family reunion in season1 and as a result the writers need to look at really drastically changing the format for the forthcoming fifth season to keep me interested.
This is the return of one of the comic book series I have followed with a passion since its launch, and continual relaunches so as I said in my ‘Picks of the Week‘ im hoping this incarnation can stick around and really make an impact with more than the regular fan base. This episode was a good relaunch point, just ahead of the television adaptation in March, as it re-introduced the main character of Deena Pilgrim and what has happened to her over the course of a short period we’ve been away before giving us some very gruesome deaths at the hands of a powered individual who now needs to be brough to justice. We also got to see right at the end what has happened to our other protagonist in Christian Walker- and I hadn’t seen that coming at all it was true shock. This episode delivered a great narrative story that was engaging and exciting, and leaves you with a real taste that there can only be better to come- and this issue was great so that’s a real big promise from the creative team.
Gotham- S1 Ep12 What a Little Bird Told Him
This episode felt like it was two completely different stories, and that isn’t a knock at the writing as it really worked well with the stories of the ‘Electrocutioner’ and the attempt from ‘Fish Monney’ to try to take out Falcone. The first of these stories was brought to the screen to soon, as it was only two episodes ago we got the masterful escape from Arkham Asylum and the really well produced voice over letter from detective Gordon which made me feel this could be a long drawn chase- and this held a host of promise. Despite his reappearance so soon, it was a well told story that helped build upon the relationship of one up manship between gordon and the ‘Electrocutioner’ in what im sure will be the first of many meetings between the two on the show as there is clearly unfinished business here. However the real moment this episode was Falcone realising that Fish is playing him, thanks in no small part to the knowledge of Penguin, and how he handled the situation once Fish felt she had manipulated him into giving her the reigns and moving away. The crime family elements of this show have been great, there intriguing to watch and have really served as a strong base for them to build the power and crafty nature of Penguin as he slowly and surely gains more and more respect and power within the criminal underworld on his way to becoming the crime boss we all know and love. This was a good episode, even with the odd timing return of the ‘Electrocutioner’ and served as a good vehicle to getting Gordon back on the force and partnered with Bullock once more.
This series deserves a second season, it may not be the ratings juggernaut that the network expected from a comic book based show but Constantine isn’t your regular comic book either its much darker and has a lead character that is a total bastard that will do anything to anyone to get what he needs accomplished; whether there a friend or a foe and this has been shown more and more as the season has moved on and got darker and darker. This weeks episode only helped to further that as we got the back story to Chaz and his ability to heal after death, and it was no shock to see John Constantine at the centre of this and then persuading Chaz to join in his crusade at the ultimate loss of his family. In a nerd related smile moment, we also got to see Felix Faust appear this episode in a much more powered up version than in the comic books, but his instant dislike for Constantine is the same that every character has and is deserved given their history- but having the villains berate John for being a “Dick” is great as it really plays into his character. This was a good episode that gave us more mature content once again, and helped further all of the characters within this universe and it would be a shame to see the show end without a second season and the chance that is deserves to find its place on television.
What can you say about NXT that hasn’t already been said? This is the single best show of wrestling on television, and this week showed that with its logical story telling and its great in ring action. We got to see the start of a tournament to crown a new number one contender that gave us great matches between Balor & Kidd and a match between Breeze & Itami.These were good matches that made sense, and had some good action with the results you would expect- Balor and Itami moving forward. We also saw Zayn lose the plot and take out his opponent before the bell and demand that he is given Owens after two sneak attacks, which not only makes sense but set up the non-title match for the next live special and this should be one hell of a bout. THe Vaudevillians also lost this week to move them away from the Tag Team Title picture, and instantly put another team in the spotlight. Alongside all of this we also got to see Bailey turn on Charlotte to get a title match at the next live special- and this makes perfect sense given her desire to be champion. The whole show is a true “This is how wrestling should be” for the main WWE roster and creative to look at and takes hints from.